Utah Valley University
The nature and relationship of God to man has always been human natures more important question. “As man is, god once was; as god is, man may become.” Lorenzo Snow. I have asked myself this statement many times. What is Gods nature? What is mans nature? And human nature is God's nature; therefore, a study of God’s nature is simultaneously a study of human nature. I will explain this statement and my beliefs about human nature and how it operates.
The Nature of God and Man
I wasn’t nice to other people. I was always fighting, arguing, name calling with the neighbors, as well as my teachers. I stole from department stores, I lied to my parents and coaches and teachers. I cheated on my homework and tests and my relationships. I hurt others in physical altercations. I would bully my peers verbally. I manipulated people into to doing what I wanted. I used drugs and alcohol illegally, I would drive drunk, and I disrespected my elders. I have brought embarrassment and shame to my family. I haven’t always understood mans existence and purpose here in this life. I have come to understand that my purpose, which is part of my God-given human nature, is to become like God. I have realized that very slowly as the result of many mistakes and challenges.
Some, maybe most, of the experiences from my which I have learned about my nature—which is also human nature--have been negative, but, a few have been positive. A negative experience from which I learned a great deal was taking my first drink of beer at a party at my brother's apartment when I was sixteen. That drink soon led to my becoming an alcoholic. One of the good choices I made, and there have only been a few, was to leave college--including my athletic dreams. I returned home after my sophomore year at college and spoke with my mother about some of my bad choices.
I now go to court appointed counseling for the bad choices I’ve made. It feels like the last 6 years of my life have been spent cleaning up the wreckage of my past. I have learned that making decisions that violate eternal principles and laws that are irrevocably decreed in heaven bring about personal pain, anguish, and sorrow. That was true for me, and I’m sure it’s true for everyone. I have learned from the bad experiences reported above that they lead to failure and misery. People told me that, but I had to learn it myself. I have since begun to take the necessary steps to make amends and repent of these behaviors. I have entered rehabilitation centers and have met with professionals to clean up my past and to avoid those same behaviors. In other words, I have begun to listen to the God given voice inside of me that has always called me to become like God.
I now have a better knowledge of my divine purpose and a greater sense of myself through understanding the nature of God and the nature of man. And what is this new understanding? God’s nature is human nature. And human nature is God's nature; therefore, a study of God’s nature is simultaneously a study of human nature. Much of my new understanding is based on two of Christian doctrines more popular statements which I have pondered at great length. The first is from the writings of President Lorenzo Snow, “As man is, god once was; as god is, man may become.” The second is that man is created in the image of god (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:18). So, I am going to spend some time discussing God's nature because (as I will show later) it is man's nature too. God was once as I am today, with both good and bad qualities and characteristics. He had flaws and character defects, but God was a man who desired good works and self improvement. I do not profess to know all about God; in fact I know very little. I don’t know what God was like before He became God. God was somewhat like me and He figured out over time what mattered most to his progression and happiness. God was intelligent,...